Sunday, July 18, 2010

Camilla Review (Madeleine L'Engle)

Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Camilla Dickinson has led a sheltered life on the Upper East Side of New York City with her architect father and stunningly beautiful mother. But this winter the security she has always known is vanishing as her parents' marriage begins to crumble - and Camilla is caught in the middle. She finds a way to escape her troubles when she meets Frank, her best friend's brother, who is someone she can really talk to about life, death, God, and her dream of becoming an astronomer. As Camilla and Frank roam the streets together lost in conversation and he introduces her to people who are so different from those she has met before, he opens her eyes to worlds beyond her own, almost as if he were a telescope helping her to see the stars.

Review: I can see this book being enjoyed by certain people, but for me it was a waste of time. I don't care for coming-of-age stories and families being ripped apart by cheating parents and divorces. I don't care to read about adolescent romances or the pubescent thoughts of girls - or especially boys. I simply don't care. It doesn't make for an interesting story and it lacks plotline and villains. It also leaves one feeling depressed, because no one - once they have gone through puberty - desires to read about it and bring all of those horrid memories back again.

It was depressing. Utterly depressing! I like family dramas, but only when they involve nations going to war like the Medieval and Elizabethan eras. Or Mongolian tribal fights. Not when it is about day-to-day family dramas involving simply messed-up people who care only for themselves and not their children. Life is too full of such situations. I certainly cannot see how someone who has come from that background would enjoy reading a book about it! I don't come from such a situation and I didn't enjoy Camilla. The only redeeming quality about this story was the era that it takes place in. But that's it.

I won't be buying Camilla by Madeleine L'Engle. It wasn't poorly written - though whenever Camilla's mother's dialogue came up, I groaned. Very choppy and annoying to read, - but the storyline was uninteresting, depressing, and the ending extremely abrupt - as endings for stories with no storyline tend to be.

Overall Rating: KK


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